Gallery: Apple iPhone 5 Launch Marred by Undercover Report of Working C...


Today Apple debuted its latest offering, the iPhone 5 – but not everyone is thrilled with the news. For workers at the Foxconn factory in China, today is the culmination of hours of work under grueling conditions for embarrassingly low pay. To bring these conditions to light, the Chinese news agency The Shanghai Evening Post sent a journalist to work undercover in the Foxconn factory that produced the iPhone 5, revealing just what it takes to bring the new gadget to consumers.

The journalist, who has asked to remain anonymous, spent 10 days journaling his experiences at the Foxconn factory before quitting due to “undesirable conditions.” Of these 10 days, 7 of were spent in training and 3 on the factory floor assembling the back plates of the iPhone 5. Throughout his 10 days, the journalist documented his experiences with bribery, dorm room hallways filled with trash, cockroaches and an endless line of iPhone back plates.

On day one, the journalist’s reports that he was required to fill out a questionnaire concerning his mental health, including questions such as “Have you got into a state of mental trance recently?” Once in the dorm rooms, new sheets were issued to workers that are filled with dirt and ashes. The smell of trash is prevalent. On day two, the journalist signs his Foxconn employment contract, which mentionsPossible harmful effects that may cause to worker during production.”

During training, the employees are instructed that they “might feel uncomfortable of how we treat you, but this is all for your own good.” While discussing the recent suicide issues at the Foxconn factory, an employee comments that with such bad living conditions, there will surely be more suicides. Once on the factory floor, the pressure to perform is intense: the journalist is repeatedly scolded and is plagued by a neck ache and muscle pain after hours on the assembly line. One exhausted co-worker is asked to stand in a corner for 10 minutes as punishment for trying to rest. Overtime is encouraged, though the pay for overtime equals roughly 4 US dollars for two hours. A full translation of the journal can be found at M.I.C. Gadget, who translated the Shanghai Evening Post story for English speakers.

+ Shanghai Evening Post

Via the Daily Mail


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  1. tomandnay September 17, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    I was going to get this model of phone but didn’t for financial reasons although this is also a very good reason. I am so dissapointed in apple as one the faithful for over 20 years. We all pay a premium for apple products and i think most of us subconciously expect that part of this tariff will go into ethical production. Just because HTC, nokia and motorola have probably worse conditions in their sweat shops doesn’t excuse this situation. Apple has a duty to be better than the other brands and if they won’t then i will resist the urge to upgrade! Who needs 4G anyway! Thats the secret! my 3GS is so wellmade it still works fine. Are you listening tim cook? if we don’t buy the product you lose!

  2. paulo0e September 16, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    The last Foxconn episode, before this, led Apple to announce they would control what happens in their chinese partners’ facilities. As we can see, nothing has been done! And Apple keep selling expensive! In Foxconn, workers only can’t jump out of the stairs anymore, to try suicide, because of the bars installed on its borders from floor to roof. If Apple’s products are manufactured with physical and mental suffering, what can we say about the cheapest brands? Our confort is based on the other’s pain…

  3. GreenKiran September 14, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Wow, this is slavery as its worst

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